Seattle crafts two big innings in romp
SEATTLE — After three straight days of mediocre performances from its starting rotation, Seattle needed Nathan Karns to eat up some innings and give the Mariners relievers some rest.
Karns did his job and kept the Mariners hanging around long enough for two big innings and big home runs from Kyle Seager and Dae-Ho Lee.
Seager's two-run homer in the sixth inning snapped a 2-all tie and Lee's three-run shot capped a five-run eighth inning to give the Mariners a 9-3 victory over the San Diego Padres on Monday.
Seattle snapped a three-game losing streak after getting swept at home by Minnesota, the worst team in the American League, thanks to those two big innings and perhaps Karns' best performance of the season.
"I thought one of the best games he's pitched for us all year," Seattle manager Scott Servais said. "Aggressive. Went after and finished hitters. He knew he needed to get deep in the game, we talked about it beforehand and he did and was efficient with his pitches."
Karns (5-1) won his fifth straight decision and pitched 6 2/3 innings, striking out six. Seattle's starting trio of Felix Hernandez, Wade Miley and Taijuan Walker combined for just 14 innings pitched in the Minnesota series, and the effort by Karns was needed to give some bullpen a break.
"I believe in myself that I can go deep into games and today was an opportunity to go deep and I felt like I did the most I could with it," Karns said.
Karns' ability to keep the game close allowed Seattle to break out offensively late, starting with Seager's homer that capped a four-run sixth inning. The two-run shot bounced off the top of the wall in right-center field and barely eluded the glove of San Diego's Matt Kemp.
Adam Lind had a two-run single in the eighth after Seager was intentionally walked and Lee followed with his seventh homer of the year.
"I hit it good. I felt pretty confident about it," Seager said. "It was a little closer than I was hoping."